Pubs are the heart and soul of our communities – but enjoy them responsibly

(08 July, 2020)

It seems the vast majority of people in Southwark enjoyed pubs reopening safely and responsibly

37705Julie, the landlady at the Nag's Head, pictured in July when the pub first opened after lockdown

It was a moment that will have been welcomed by many: the first taste of a proper pint in months.

Last Saturday marked the first day since March our boozers could reopen under government rules.

The News was on the scene from several pubs in the borough – strictly for business – asking landlords and ladies how their first day of trading went.

Business was slow, but not unreasonably so; people were largely sensible; the men and women behind these pubs grateful to be bringing cash into the tills again.

Boozers are a lifeline in the community. As we report, petitions have been started to rescue The Rising Sun, on the Rockingham Estate.

The Rising Sun

Developers want to remove the pub, but some locals say they think it is a lively hub on the estate, with darts teams and Elvis impersonators.

And locals have rallied together to ‘save’ the King’s Arms in Tooley Street, stumping up money for vouchers and merchandise during lockdown so that it continued to have cashflow.

The strength of feeling is apparent: some punters joined in for a socially distanced sing-along of ‘Give a Little Love’.

Credit: Matt Hass photography

A note of caution must be sounded about pubs reopening. It is understandable some will have trepidation about these changes – the virus has not gone away, and nor will it for quite some time.

It is also worth stressing, contrary to what some believe, guidelines do not permit you to meet all of your friends in one go at the local pub, much as one might have done just months ago.

The guidelines are clear: when sitting indoors, it’s a maximum of six people allowed, from two households, while still observing social distancing.

But on the whole, it seems Southwark punters safely and responsibly enjoyed a glass or two on ‘Super Saturday’, while also providing a much-needed lifeline to hard-working publicans.

Cheers to that.

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